For seven months in a row, the monthly employment figures in South Korea have been worse than they were the year earlier.
According to Statistics Korea on Friday, 392-thousand fewer people were in employment in September compared to the same time the previous year.
That is a fall of one.four percent on-year the largest drop in four months.
"The drop in September's job figures reflects the resurgence of COVID-19 infections since mid-August and the impact of the prolonged pandemic."
And two.four million people took a temporary leave of absence from work in September, which is the most for the month of September since the statistics were first compiled in 2003. It was also up 13.six percent on-year.
The largest job losses were in the restaurants and lodging sectors which had 225-thousand fewer jobs last month than a year earlier. That's about a 10 percent fall.
The Finance Minister said at a ministerial meeting on Friday that the recent surge in infections has halted the recovery in the job market.
But he added that the situation is better than back in March and April, and that October's figures are also expected to show an improvement.
He also announced plans to issue discount coupons in eight areas such as lodging and tourism to boost spending and revitalize regional economies.
"The plan to issue discount coupons in eight areas, which had been suspended due to the resurgence of COVID-19, will resume after discussing the details including the date and preventative measures with related ministries."
He also said the government will push forward its economic relief packages to help industries adversely affected by the pandemic.
Eum Ji-young, Arirang News.